Diary of Fanny Farnum Fuller, North Andover (Nov 1859)

This diary was written by a young farm woman from North Andover, Massachusetts. She does various work including; washing, baking, ironing, sewing, quilting, making butter, cleaning, making sausage, and weeding. She also describes the work of other members of her family. She mentions many opportunities for visiting and travelling. More information about this original document can be found at the North Andover Historical Society, N Andover, on a webpage devoted to the diary.

You can find other documents related to Fanny Farnum Fuller linked below:

  • Diary of Fanny Farnum Fuller, January 1859
  • Diary of Fanny Farnum Fuller, July 1859
  • Photo of Fuller House, North Andover

November Sunday 6 1859

Eliza and myself went to Church to day. Got home (and) found Abijah here and John Dane (with) Kimball also. They stop(ped) to (have) supper. John Ingalls & Mr. & Mrs. Moses Stevens & little children been here to day. Jacob gone to Bradford.

Monday 7

The masons1 came back this morning. Stewart not here to work, but came around this way home and carried off John Butterfield. I am not well. Went to bed sick. Cut out a few squares2 this afternoon.

Tuesday 8

I feel a little better this morning. Work(ed) a little on my quilt, then rip(ped) up an old dress for Mother3, then made a pillow case (in the) evening. Willie here to dinner to day.

November Wednesday 9 1859

Mother & Eliza cleaned the dining room today. I only washed the windows. Then they went up in town this afternoon, bought Mother a dress, cut sausage meat4 tonight. Holt been to Salem.

Thursday 10

We thought of going to Boston today, but had as much to do that we could not go. Mother & Eliza cleaned some of the sitting room5. Sarah Goodhhue here cutting on dresses6. The masons finished tonight. Rainy.

Friday 11

Done a great day’s work today, filled beds7, cleaned house, got ready to go to Boston. A man put up here to dinner, then came back to stay all night. Cleaned the boy’s chambers8.

1 Masons = people who do stone work (Fanny’s family are having people work on their house)
2 “cut out a few squares” = cut out pieces to make a quilt
3 “ripped up an old dress for Mother” = probably either cutting up a dress for quilt pieces or re‐fitting a dress for another family member
4 “Cut sausage meat” = after butchering an animal, meat was cut into small pieces to put into sausage casings
5 Sitting room = family room
6 “Here cutting on dresses” = sometimes women were employed to cut out dress pieces that family members then sewed at home
7 “Filled beds” = mattress fillings were often seasonally changed; straw in summer/feathers in winter
8 Chambers = bedrooms


Fanny Fuller Diary (November 6-10, 1859). North Andover Historical Society, North Andover MA.